Help with my violin! Unwanted resident.

August 9, 2017, 4:03 PM · I had a very awkward problem everyone.

I play my violin daily, it's a passion I came to late, but am making up for lost time. I leave it on a hook on my wall, so I can play without taking it in and out of my case.

I had a spider move in between yesterday and today... It's made a web inside the violin under the bridge by the sound post... How do I get it gone!

Thank you all!

Replies (32)

August 9, 2017, 4:09 PM · I wonder if it'll affect the sound so much. Befriend it and accept it as a part of the family maybe?
August 9, 2017, 4:10 PM · I've heard of people cleaning the inside of a violin using dry rice. You could try that, swooshing it around and then pouring it out the f hole. Seems like the least drastic move and if a good way to dislodge the spider.
August 9, 2017, 4:37 PM · Time to play a Tarantella!
August 9, 2017, 5:41 PM · I love Rocky's sense of humor.

In all seriousness, do what J Seitz says and use this incident as a reminder that we should always store our violins in our cases if we are leaving them for longer than 15-20 minutes. I think that is the safest thing.

August 9, 2017, 6:02 PM · This is my nightmare. My viola would very probably die if I was playing along and a spider poked it's head out of the F hole.
August 9, 2017, 6:09 PM · You'll have to burn it. At least, that's what I'd do!
August 9, 2017, 6:40 PM · Vac it out if you are not a Buddhist.
August 9, 2017, 7:20 PM · Burning sounds like a perfectly reasonable response.
August 9, 2017, 7:26 PM · Keep it; perhaps it will eat the bow mites!
August 9, 2017, 9:23 PM · Depending on the size of the spider, it may be necessary to burn down the entire house.
August 9, 2017, 9:42 PM · "Vac it out if you are not a Buddhist."
Dont let a vac touch your violin, if it is a decent one! Sobmany things that can go wrong. The rice method is the common way to go. It is done quickly too, exept the very last rice corn, this will take hours to shake it out, it always does.
August 9, 2017, 9:56 PM · Marc,

I thought you just rinsed that one out.... ;)

August 9, 2017, 11:32 PM · Or maybe you just solve it in acid.
Edited: August 10, 2017, 12:49 AM · I suspect that the spider will soon find a new hole to dwell in, unless it finds that the exposure to the soundvibrations benefits it as a spider.

Maybe something allmost magic will happen if it gets very old in your violin. Maybe you will see it in your dreams playing 4 violins at once with its 8 legs. Maybe your dreams is a alternate reality as real as day. You have a quest, where will it end?

Excuse me.

I agree with Mary Ellen, burn the whole house and the neighbours house aswell... Just to be sure.

August 10, 2017, 2:32 AM · Don't ask Little Miss Muffet. She is a wimp.
August 10, 2017, 4:34 AM · Actually as far as I know spiders are quite intelligent and self-aware so you can try politely asking it to leave, too.
Edited: August 10, 2017, 4:30 PM · Yehudi Menuhin said to use some dry, uncooked rice to clean the inside of a violin. I agree with Marc that this would most likely dislodge the spider.
August 10, 2017, 11:03 AM · You may need to bring in a specialist: a luthier with a degree in entomology.
Edited: August 10, 2017, 11:09 AM · Yes, a specialist, by all means. You don't want the curse of Shelob upon you, so be kind to the spider.
August 10, 2017, 11:13 AM · For this rice cleaning method, how much do you use? A tablespoon?
August 10, 2017, 11:38 AM · This scares me ... in the room where I practice there are no spider, only centipedes now and then! That would be a nasty thing to come crawling out of one's f-hole. Fortunately they are extremely dim creatures and will never figure out how to find their way to my violin hanging on its wall hook.
Edited: August 11, 2017, 8:34 AM · That spider is likely to be a female, and if left to her own devices will breed ...

I once had a bee take up residence briefly in my cello when I left it for a few minutes during practice. When I restarted I heard a peculiar buzzing and then the bee scrambled out of the f-hole and into the garden.

August 10, 2017, 4:13 PM · Make sure you cook the rice thoroughly before putting it into your instrument.
August 11, 2017, 2:15 AM · If it is Italian, use risotto instead.

Cheers Carlo

August 11, 2017, 2:27 AM · If it is an Australian spider burn down the neighbourhood just to be safe
Edited: August 11, 2017, 4:47 AM · Perhaps there are flies in your fiddle. Why else would a spider move in? Before you burn the house down, or the neighbourhood, listen for a buzz.
August 11, 2017, 8:03 AM · While on a trip to Memphis,TN many years ago in a violin shop I was visiting, I watched the luthier use a vacuum cleaner to remove some debris and cobwebs from a violin a customer had brought in. He had a rubber bumper that attached to the end of the nozzle and would gently hover it over the f-hole. I asked him if it would be safe to use a similar method on my wife's dulcimer that had gotten a bit of packing foam dust inside it. He said there is no chance of damage or injury to the instrument, just don't allow contact with it. He said in lieu of the rubber bumper, just place a finger between the vacuum nozzle and the instrument. He has used rice but commented on how hard some people have getting all of the grains out, not to mention the rice dust. He thought this was much safer than some people jiggling their valued Instrument upside down and around to remove rice. I used his method and it worked great.

I was told by a symphony member here locally of a few of the string players using vacuum cleaners on their instruments for the purpose of removing rosin dust that migrates into the body. Apparently it was an "off the record" tip from a luthier in Seattle. I thought I was anal about my instrument,but that seems over the top to me.

August 11, 2017, 8:26 AM · The small vacuum cleaners that IT technicians use for cleaning the insides of computers may be worth considering. Computers have many delicate bits and pieces which must be treated with care.
August 11, 2017, 12:05 PM · Let's not get too extreme here, remember the fate of the Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly!

The careful use of a small vacuum sounds like the best starting point!

August 11, 2017, 12:10 PM · Just play it like a cello until the spider leaves.
August 11, 2017, 4:08 PM · Play that scene from Orpheus in the Underworld.
August 11, 2017, 8:30 PM · my violin had an old termite nest in it.. my luthier shook it up and then in my house i took it out with some old nose pliers

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